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Separation of volatile or toxic loads

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Separation of volatile or toxic loads
Posted by BATMAN on Friday, April 27, 2018 1:11 PM

I know that there is a certain number of cars required to be between an engine and various hazardous tank cars etc. But what about between cars carrying different types of hazardous goods. You could end up with a real cocktail of disaster if some of these materials ever met in a wreck. If so how many cars between the two and is the number of cars between dependant on what the hazardous materials in the train are.

Brent

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, April 27, 2018 2:35 PM

Basically all hazmat can be next to each other except radioactive, high explosives and certain toxic inhalation hazard cars.     You can even use combustible cars as cover for flammable cars.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by NHTX on Thursday, May 10, 2018 2:56 PM

   The best source of information to answer your question would be an employee's timetable from the railroad that interests you most.  Since at least 1980, all employee timetables I have seen, devote a couple of pages in the special instructions to the proper placement of HAZMAT cars in a train, whether the cars are loaded or empty.  Employee timetables may be found at sellers of railroadiana, train shows, some hobby shops or a friendly train crew member, once they understand why you want to know.

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Posted by cowman on Thursday, May 10, 2018 5:24 PM

Not quite an answer to your question, but a related situation.

When I was in the fire service, one hazmat training class was on a train car that caught fire and burned.  The product in the car was non-flammable and should not have combusted.  A check of the previous load was also of a non-combustable product.  However, it was found that if the two products mixed it created a product that spontaniously combusted, setting the car on fire.

Not only does each carload need to be noted, but each load in the car and previous loads has to be checked.  In this case a through cleaning of a small leak could have prevented the fire.

Good luck,

Richard

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, May 10, 2018 8:36 PM

NHTX
The best source of information to answer your question would be an employee's timetable from the railroad that interests you most. Since at least 1980, all employee timetables I have seen, devote a couple of pages in the special instructions to the proper placement of HAZMAT cars in a train, whether the cars are loaded or empty.

Many railroads have the hazmat rules as a separate document and they aren't in the timetable.  Its been that way for at least the last 20 years on the UP.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, May 10, 2018 8:45 PM

cowman
Not only does each carload need to be noted, but each load in the car and previous loads has to be checked.

Railroads have documentation on whats in the cars but the only thing they have to worry about placement is what's in the Federal Regs.

For example it would be perfectly legal to have the following train in order:

Engine

Tank car of combustile fuel oil.

Tank car of oxidizer.

Tank car of flamable gas LPG.

Tank car of poison (no background).

Tank car of corrosive.

Boxcar of blasting agents 1.5.

Boxcar of explosives 1.6.

Caboose.

That train with those cars, as long as the cars next to the engine and caboose remain the same, is perfectly legal and you can scramble up the cars in the middle all you want.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by NHTX on Friday, May 11, 2018 10:55 AM

    Having no interest in current railroading, my reference was to what began to appear in the 1980s.  Because the  restrictions on hazmat were the same from railroad to railroad, one would be led to believe the guidance was formulated by an agency outside of the railroads and, handed down to them for compliance.  My recommendation to seek an employees timetable was made, due to the fact that this criteria addresses not only the placement of the hazmat cars but, also the placement of non-hazmat cars around them.  Cars such as open top cars with shiftable loads, cars with operating internal combustion engines such as mechanical reefers affect the placement of hazmat cars.  As stated by Mr. Husman, you could have a witch's brew of a consist but, there are still restrictions noted in the time tables, such as not coupling a car placarded "Explosives A" to one placarded "Radioactive"--for obvious reasons.  There is a lot of information and restrictions contained in these charts--too much to try to cover on this forum.  The best way to get it and, get it right is to go to the correct source, the same one the real railroads use, the employees timetable.  Anyone making a reasonable attempt to replicate the operations of their favorite prototype should make getting a copy of one of these documents one of their highest priorities.  The information contained therein could help avoid modeling misconceptions and save you time, money and frustration.

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, May 11, 2018 2:11 PM

Here are the 1989 UP rules, but they will be the same for other roads.  By the way, you won't find these in the timetable, they are in a separate form, Form 8620, that has all the hazmat info.

Hazmat rules

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, May 11, 2018 2:17 PM

Here is the 1982 ICG version of the same thing (which was in the timetable):

ICG hazmat

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, May 11, 2018 4:11 PM

dehusman
For example it would be perfectly legal to have the following train in order: Engine Tank car of combustile fuel oil. Tank car of oxidizer. Tank car of flamable gas LPG. Tank car of poison (no background). Tank car of corrosive. Boxcar of blasting agents 1.5. Boxcar of explosives 1.6. Caboose.

And THAT would be a good day to be wearing brown pants if you are in that caboose.  

Dave Nelson

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